The Estevan Chamber of Commerce's inaugural Estevan Energy Expo offered informative speakers, opportunities to network and a chance to learn more about current trends in different energy sectors.
Hundreds of people attended the event. Highlights included an opening night social on June 11 at the Saskatchewan Energy Training Institute, and speakers and a trade show at Affinity Place on June 12 and 13.
“We had some great speakers,” said Estevan Chamber of Commerce executive director Michel Cyrenne. “In terms of how the event was put together, and the logistics, and what was presented for everybody, it went very, very well.”
About 60 people attended the opening reception, which included supper and a speech from Energy and Resources assistant deputy minister Hal Sanders.
"He gave a presentation about the impact of resources on the provincial economy and GDP (gross domestic product)," said Cyrenne.
Three speakers addressed the crowd on June 12. Keith Schaefer, the editor of the Oil and Gas Investments Bulletin, discussed the Torquay oil play that Cyrenne said is expected to draw even more investment to the southeast Saskatchewan oil patch.
“It's a much larger formation that the Bakken oil play, and one where we're expecting to see a lot more activity than what we've seen in the past few years, which is very exciting to hear,” said Cyrenne.
Schaefer noted that some American companies are looking to have three wells for every well that they drilled in the Bakken.
“It was pretty exciting to hear that what we've seen over the past few years is just a precursor to what we're going to see going forward,” said Cyrenne.
Kirsten Marcia from the DEEP Earth Energy Corporation offered an update on the company's effort to establish a geothermal power plant in the Estevan area. Aleana Young, the communications and project officer for the Petroleum Technology Research Council's Aquistore project, gave a rundown on the project.
Max Ball, who is SaskPower's manager of coal technology and deployment for carbon capture and storage initiatives, was the featured speaker on the 13th. He discussed the carbon capture and storage project that is nearing completion at the Boundary Dam Power Station, and the carbon capture test facility at the Shand Power Station.
“There's a lot of excitement about it, particularly with the fact that it's nearly completed, so a lot of people were excited with his presentation, and there were some questions and some feedback with his presentation,” said Cyrenne.
Melinda Yurkowski from the Ministry of Economy spoke on geological formations in southeast Saskatchewan that apply to the oil and gas industries; and SaskEnergy's Mitch Carlson explained the compressed natural gas filling station near Weyburn.
A trade show was open to the public each day at Affinity Place. There were 39 exhibitors, and nearly 400 people turned out during the two days to view the booths.
“We were getting calls right up to Wednesday morning (June 11) … looking to get space, but we were basically sold out at 39,” said Cyrenne.
Tours of the Shand Power Station were offered in the afternoon of the 12th.
Feedback for the expo has been strong, he said, as those who registered enjoyed the variety in the speakers, the tour of the Shand Power Station, and the opportunities to grow their business.
They would have liked to have attracted more people to the trade show, but exhibitors were pleased with the quality of the visitors.
“They made some good connections and some good business opportunities,” said Cyrenne.
Cyrenne said the energy expo is going to become a biennial event. Exhibitors believe that the event has a lot of potential, and the chamber might look at forming a planning committee so that they can get more input from industry for the expo.